Prime Minister Tony Abbott
Prime Minister Tony Abbott Vicki Wood

Abbott threatens election if Senate stalemate goes on

PRIME Minister Tony Abbbott has threatened to call a snap election if the government faces a long period of problems in the Senate.

The government's bid to scrap the carbon tax spectacularly failed on Thursday when Palmer United Party senators voted with Labor and the Greens.

PUP leader Clive Palmer, who went to the election saying he would scrap the tax, accused the government of "double-crossing" his party over an amendment to toughen sanctions against businesses which do not pass on price cuts from the abolition.

Mr Abbot said on Friday said it was too early to talk about an early election, as the new Senate had only been in place for a week.

"If we had six months or 12 months of difficulty ... then maybe it would be time to start thinking along those lines," Mr Abbott said.

Insiders say it is unlikely Mr Abbott would want to go to an early election given the latest opinion polls.

He described the events of this week as a few days of "argy-bargy", rather than a political stalemate, Ninemsn reported.

PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie blamed the Government's leader in the Senate, Eric Abetz, warning that the crossbench will make him pay for any "silly games".

"I've asked Tony Abbott to sack him immediately, he's been an absolute disgrace," she told the ABC.

She told Channel Ten the Palmer United Party will not tolerate game playing.

"If you want to come into the kennel with the PUPs, be prepared to be chewed up and spat back out. Stop these silly games."

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